A call for civility after the midterms

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By: Matthew Pipkin, Columnist

By the time this article is published, it will finally be Election Day! It will be a day that determines how the country responds to the policies instituted by both major parties at the national, state and local levels. For many, this day signals how Americans feel about the Republican Party, especially towards President Donald Trump and his administration’s public policies. All speculation made by voters, politicians and media pundits alike will be thrown out the window as our eyes will be glued to screens nationwide as we wait for the results.

Anything can happen, so we need to make sure each and every one of us do our job in keeping our emotions in check. Being emotionally charged by the outcome of the election does not give you the right to destroy public and private property. While this happens on both sides of the aisle, the far left has been particularly guilty of this in their mob-like mentality in recent years and altercations. Public figures like Maxine Waters and Eric Holder, both of whom have insinuated the use of violence, have had their words turned into soundbites to rally raw emotion on the far left. The mainstream media has perpetuated this rhetorical cycle, fanning the flames in their pursuit of higher viewership and ratings.

What does this rhetorical cycle lead to? Well, look no further than our own campus here at Towson University. While most people who reject taking my literature do so in a courteous manner, I cannot begin to describe how many times I’ve received scolding remarks from people as they zip by me at the polling place. By the look and verbiage some people give me, you would have thought that I had smacked their grandmother. It seems misdirected to yell at a volunteer handing you a flier over the county council race (one that they probably have no clue about) because of their displeasure over Trump’s policies and remarks.

Being the Towson College Republican president on campus, I have found instances where many of my members are scared to go out and electioneer at the Towson Administration Building on campus. They simply could not imagine running into their friends, professors or colleagues as they hand out literature for the Republican side on campus. Images from social media of people getting harassed at colleges for supporting various candidates have been ingrained in their minds. This hurts the entire political thought on campus and prevents us from having honest conversation with people on campus. Regardless of the outcome on Tuesday, keep in mind that there are many friends and family around you that hold different views and beliefs of your own. Recognizing that they too want what’s best for America is the first step towards gaining a better understanding of each other amidst the hostile political climate.

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